Chris Christie takes state chopper to son’s baseball game

posted at 7:36 pm on June 1, 2011 by Allahpundit

When he got there, he hopped in a limo that drove him … 100 yards to the field.

Right before the lineup cards were being exchanged on the field, a noise from above distracted the spectators as the 55-foot long helicopter buzzed over trees in left field, circled the outfield and landed in an adjacent football field. Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car with tinted windows that drove him about a 100 yards to the baseball field…

The governor had no public events on his schedule, offering no insight to where he might have been traveling from. He had a private meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion, in Princeton. He is meeting with a group of Iowa donors who have publically expressed a desire to persuade him to run for president in 2012.

Like Drew says, this is undeniably bad optics for a cost-cutting conservative famous for squeezing unions to help ease the budget crunch, but the state police insist that the extra cost to taxpayers was literally nothing. Except, presumably, for the tank of gas they used for the flight, which at today’s prices couldn’t have been more than — what? Two, maybe three million bucks?

Fuentes said the time police pilots fly the governor count as training time.

“It is important to understand that State Police helicopters fly daily homeland security missions, and use flight time for training purposes, more so lately as we acclimate our pilots to the new aircraft,” Fuentes [said]…

“Therefore, there is no additional cost to taxpayers or the State Police budget, nor is there any interference with our daily mission by adding the state’s chief executive to any of these trips,” Fuentes said. “Any flights transporting the Governor would be subordinated to priority needs for our aircraft including rescue and emergent law enforcement missions.”

Democrats are hassling him anyway, which is good politics. The more they can make him look like an entitled fatcat politician, the less traction his fiscal “sacrifice” message will get. And given that this happened on the same day as his ultra-hyped meeting with Iowa Republicans, it’s doubly bad: Not only is he using state property for personal business, the left will say, but he’s using his state office as governor to advance his national ambitions. Ben Smith wonders, in fact, whether Christie’s precariousness in deep-blue Jersey makes it impossible for him to run for president right now since it would detonate his chances at being reelected governor and all but end his political career if he failed to win the nomination. Makes sense, but on the other hand, the more fragile Christie seems at home, the more inclined he may be to jump into the GOP race on the theory that he won’t be reelected governor under any circumstances. Now or never?

Exit question: If he did jump in, from whom would he steal the most votes in Iowa? Romney’s ahead right now with 21 percent, but both Palin and Herman Cain are close behind at 15 apiece. The conventional wisdom, I think, is that he’d rev up the base, but he has no real social con cred vis-a-vis people like Palin and Bachmann. He’d have to try to fill Daniels’s niche as the budget hawk, which I suspect would pull more votes from the center than the right. Bad news for Romney and, especially, Pawlenty.


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I’m not outrageously outraged yet. I would defer to hawkdiver on this one. Knows more about it then either you are I. And as someone above noted, politicians do have perks of the office. Those complaining should know this already.

Jesse on June 1, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Non issue if he is not over using the system. I seem to remember the prior governor speeding down the highway and getting into a very bad wreck.

SC.Charlie on June 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM

*or *Hawkdriver. Stupid keyboard.

Jesse on June 1, 2011 at 9:03 PM

how many teacher positions did this trip cost?

unseen on June 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Um, really? This is an issue?

Didn’t cost the taxpayers anything. And he’s getting flack from the Right? That’s great, everyone. Well done.

nickj116 on June 1, 2011 at 9:09 PM

The conventional wisdom, I think, is that he’d rev up the base,

The conventional wisdom is wrong, then.

pseudoforce on June 1, 2011 at 9:11 PM

hmmm this isn’t a real big deal. I’m sure all Gov’s do this kind of stuff. I don’t think this will impact him at all. And of course it doesn’t strike at his reputation as a fiscal conservative wanting to cut back on wasteful spending. He should be fine. this will pass……………….
…………I’m sorry I can’t hold it in any longer………….ROFLMAO>>>>>>LOL>>>>>>>>ROFL>>>>>>>HEHE>>>>>>>>>ROFLMAO….Chrisite is done….thank you Gov Christie for giving us a good laugh while proving beyond a doubt your youtube moments were staged PR to excite the fanbozs…..ROFLMAO>

unseen on June 1, 2011 at 9:12 PM

If he did, I lose all respect for him. He’s been rather adamant…putting it lightly… about not running, and if he ran, I wouldn’t be able to trust him on anything else.
JetBoy on June 1, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Surprising coming from you, but you’re right.
MeatHeadinCA on June 1, 2011 at 7:47 PM

You didn’t hear? JB’s in Palin’s camp now.

nickj116 on June 1, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Maybe Christie just thought he could sneak in unnoticed.

bw222 on June 1, 2011 at 9:15 PM

He isn’t running for President, and he will be reelected Governor.

rockmom on June 1, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Um, really? This is an issue?

Didn’t cost the taxpayers anything. And he’s getting flack from the Right? That’s great, everyone. Well done.

nickj116 on June 1, 2011 at 9:09 PM

How much time do you spend in NJ? As much as we might like him on the right, he’s not exactly a popular man in his home state.

Optics can equal reality.

CTSherman on June 1, 2011 at 9:20 PM

When he got there, he hopped in a limo that drove him … 100 yards to the field.

Maybe that sounds worse than it is. Could be that it’s SOP for security reasons?

pseudoforce on June 1, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Maybe that sounds worse than it is. Could be that it’s SOP for security reasons?

pseudoforce on June 1, 2011 at 9:22 PM

For a Governor?

CTSherman on June 1, 2011 at 9:26 PM

how many teacher positions did this trip cost?

unseen on June 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Hopefully the most of them.

Jesse on June 1, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Dumb move by the Joisey Blowhard.
No biggie though. He can’t get elected dog catcher outside Joisey.

james23 on June 1, 2011 at 9:32 PM

And as someone above noted, politicians do have perks of the office. Those complaining should know this already.

Jesse on June 1, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Perks is where the “I’m important, you are not” mentality starts.

A helo ride here, an airplane trip there, and the next thing you know, they’re giving a speech about they managed to cut $30 billion from a $3 trillion dollar spending bill, and act like they’ve actually done something good!

Your the steward of the peoples’ property or you are not. Perks are not good stewardship. They are rewards for corruption.

BobMbx on June 1, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Perks is where the “I’m important, you are not” mentality starts.

A helo ride here, an airplane trip there, and the next thing you know, they’re giving a speech about they managed to cut $30 billion from a $3 trillion dollar spending bill, and act like they’ve actually done something good!

Your the steward of the peoples’ property or you are not. Perks are not good stewardship. They are rewards for corruption.

BobMbx on June 1, 2011 at 9:36 PM

I have to respectfully disagree. The only perk was the limo as far as I can see. If limos are “rewards for corruption” then you might as well not vote for anyone. Name me a politician that doesn’t have perks and I’ll show you a pig with wings.

Jesse on June 1, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Hey, he big-timed his son’s Little League game. Impressive. Flies in on Jersey One. Then has his Limo pick him up and drive him a whole 100 yards from the choppah to the diamond. Hey Gov, why not just, you know, walk the 100 yards? Never mind the ridiculous waste of taking both the choppah and the limo, wouldn’t it be great to get a little exercise?

Very, very impressive. And very Joisey.

james23 on June 1, 2011 at 9:50 PM

The conventional wisdom, I think, is that he’d rev up the base,

The conventional wisdom is wrong, then.

pseudoforce on June 1, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Maybe somebody forgot to tell “conventional wisdom” about Christie’s overwhelming sense of fair play toward Muslims.

hillbillyjim on June 1, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Let them have their fun. It looks stupid and wasteful, but if the scum left wants to have that fight, God bless them. Any Dems want to compare Nancy Pelosi’s carbon footprint to Christie’s?

Jaibones on June 1, 2011 at 10:01 PM

optics man optics. Palin eats a pizza in times square. christie helos in to a little league game. ROFLMAO….

unseen on June 1, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Maybe they were there on a stake out.

Checking out a rumor of corked bats.

profitsbeard on June 1, 2011 at 10:07 PM

optics man optics. Palin eats a pizza in times square. christie helos in to a little league game. ROFLMAO….

unseen on June 1, 2011 at 10:03 PM

What are you going on about? No one is even going to care about this story in two days.

Jesse on June 1, 2011 at 10:23 PM

They’re PO’d because he has a better chopper than Obamus.

n0doz on June 1, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Smart move by Christie. Now he is too toxic to run and maybe people will leaver him alone. No one can actually believe he is so stupid as to do this by accident.

csdeven on June 1, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Marine One.

RINO One.

portlandon on June 1, 2011 at 7:44 PM

thread winner

Norwegian on June 1, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Folks: I am a huge Christy fan. The pilots need flight hours for quals. In a perfect world, it is better that they be doing something useful instead of burning holes in the air getting hours. It really did not cost the NJ citizens anything. But…

OPTICS: this was dumb and arrogant. When Dims do it we all dump on them, rightfully so. Years ago I was an aide to a general…optics were always considered. As my best boss ever once said: how will what you are getting ready to do look when it shows up in the Washington Post? Will your mother be proud? Landing a state helo next to a little league field is, well, arrogant.

Dingbat63 on June 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Four words.

Christie/Obama Presidential Debate!

That is all.

MT
Watching from the GWN

Mistahtibbs on June 1, 2011 at 11:19 PM

Landing a state helo next to a little league field is, well, arrogant.

Dingbat63 on June 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM

It sounds like something Obama would do.

bw222 on June 2, 2011 at 12:17 AM

It sounds like something Obama would do.

bw222 on June 2, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Not quite. Last I looked, that chopper didn’t buzz the Statue of Liberty.

unclesmrgol on June 2, 2011 at 1:42 AM

how many teacher positions did this trip cost?

unseen on June 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM

With or without the pension?

unclesmrgol on June 2, 2011 at 1:44 AM

He has just handed the oher team a club… Is it really all that bad, no. But the way things look can be made to look much worse, and he has very determined and well edumacated enemies…
-
Call it the stupid politician trick of the day.
-

RalphyBoy on June 2, 2011 at 2:08 AM

All that counts is the economy.
If the economy gets worse it does not matter who runs against Obama, they will win.
If the ecomomy gets better it does not matter who runs against Obama, he will win.

albill on June 2, 2011 at 5:52 AM

I want to see that guy driving a Smart car to and from events!!

Caper29 on June 1, 2011 at 7:54 PM

He couldn’t fit in a smart car! Seriously, he is so overweight that he probably couldn’t walk from the helicopter to the field so the limo had to wait for him.
Also, there is no way he would survive physically the grueling campaign trail if he ran for president.

My question – if the limo had to drive there anyways – why did he not take the limo? Why the helicopter/limo?

Chris Christie is pretty much a phoney to me – if one reads his record a conservative would come away pretty disappointed, all the youtube videos of him playing tough with teachers not withstanding.

Amjean on June 2, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Not too bothered about the helo flight if indeed it was going to be in the air anyway.

I do have a big problem with the limo driving him 100 yards from the landing spot to the field. Question- why didn’t he just take the limo that was driving there to take him on that 100 yard trip?

Jay Mac on June 2, 2011 at 7:39 AM

Piloting requires regular practice. If this flight was in the place of flying in circles to provide that practice, it truly was at no additional cost.

Maybe that sounds worse than it is. Could be that it’s SOP for security reasons?

pseudoforce on June 1, 2011 at 9:22 PM

For a Governor?

CTSherman on June 1, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Who has annoyed the teachers union. Haven’t we learned of the danger of that fro Wisconsin.

Slowburn on June 2, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Jay Mac on June 2, 2011 at 7:39 AM

If the Helo cost nothing, the speed advantage meant that he could leave his previous engagement later.

Slowburn on June 2, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Meh.

kg598301 on June 2, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Comment pages: 1 2